November 7, 2019 Subject:
Ken Maynard Clears The Canyon
IMO, one of the better Ken Maynard films and a fine western, with a more serious underpinning than your usual cattle rustler, etc. plots. Maynard comes to town looking for Clem, an old friend who can tell him who he is and about his family. On the road to town he gets ambushed and then saved by an mysterious unseen black garbed stranger hidden in the rocks and by Cecelia Parker (Jenny Lee), a beautiful young lady who knows who he is. She and her father Lafe McKee (Col. Lee) own the ranch where he'll find his friend Clem. By the time he gets to the ranch, his friend had been murdered. This sets in motion his search for Clem's killer, cattle rustlers and the mysterious stranger, "The Phantom". The bad guys are all well played by regular villains Frank Brownlee (Alf Sykes), Geo. Gerwing (Clem Sykes), Jack Clifford (Newt), an uncredited George Chesebro (Sheriff's Deputy) and others. Bob Burns (uncredited) is good a the deadpan and even handed Sheriff. Sheldon Lewis is great as the Phantom/Matt Daley. There's plenty of action and a grand finale shootout and disclosure scene, where all becomes clear. And Ken rides off with Cecelia. A better than usual western.
June 14, 2009 Subject:
Judge for Yourself !
As one who almost passed up this hallmark film, I want you rather to judge for yourselves. Howard Hughs's THE OUTLAW is acknowledged by experts to be one of the greatest Westerns of all time, and yet many or most viewers & reviewers grade it but mediocre, apparently based on discomfort with the character which once was considered manhood, in all its frailties, delusions, faults ... and strengths. Here is Ken Maynard's best, i.e., amongst his best, and observant viewers will discern the film in which all participants, from cast to director & crew, are making a 'best effort' from those which are run-of-the-mill. Here also is manhood unprepucectomised yet not barbaric, or rather, with manhood sublime triumphing over male brutishness -- and that in context of a Lady who genuinely is one, not merely a female human. For those who know the difference, this film is recommended, though in a light, rather than a profound vein; one wonders if Ken Maynard ever lifted himself up to his higher capacity or rather the man who has-it-all and content to rest in the laurels of his superiorites, only to awake one day as a dessicated, if corpulant, "nobody". And that is the challenge for all of us, for every man & woman, whether we excell or whether we erroneously suppose the world revolves around our great selves. Judge for yourself.
April 17, 2006 Subject:
D for Dull
After one of the greatest studio logos Ive ever seen (check out those whirling hooters!) and getting all hyped about that, the next hour is a pretty boring escapade. Ken Maynard, whos shirt seems to be saying look at my buttons and my armpits! stars as Ken, a cowboy new to town, but has a lot of clothes stashed away somewhere, who is looking to find out who is his father. There are a lot of mysterious deaths going on, by one Phantom Killer, who wanders around canyons in, yes, a cape and big hat (he looks like the V for Vendetta guy), and everyone in town thinks that Ken is the Phantom. Its up to Ken to prove them wrong and find out who his father is! Gee. One guess.
This is SLOW. The plot just creeps along, not giving us a lot of suspense. The acting is ok, but the guy playing the sheriff seems to be sleepwalking through this role. As proven before in other movies, Ken Maynard is not much of an action star, as his fight scenes sure are flat. There are MUCH MUCH better westerns out there